Maple Room

Children at Work 1.25.16 - 1.29.16

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Sharing a Song at Community Gathering

Last Wednesday, the Maple class shared the song "Hey Mr. Sun" with the whole school at Community Gathering. Click here to see the video.
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Math Workshop

The Maple class began a study of patterns this week. Some of the benchmarks of this unit include:

  • Constructing, describing, and extending a repeating pattern with the structure AB, ABC, AAB, or ABB.
  • Identifying the unit of a repeating pattern.
  • Describing how various repeating patterns are alike (e.g. how is a red-blue pattern like a yellow-green pattern?).
  • Determining what comes several steps beyond the visible part of an AB, ABC, AAB, or ABB repeating pattern.
  • Constructing, extending, and describing a pattern that has a constant increase for the sequences 1, 3, 5, . . . ; 2, 4, 6, . . . ; 1, 4, 7, . . . ; 2, 5, 8, . . . ; and 3, 6, 9 . . . through counting and building.

The kids began the unit by talking about their previous knowledge of patterns. Each child made a number of repeating patterns from a variety of materials, including colored caps, Unifix cubes, and pattern blocks. They recorded their patterns in a "pattern book" to share with others. By the end of the week, children had learned some vocabulary surrounding repeating patterns, including the words "element" and "unit." They had also related using letters to define the elements of the unit in a pattern. The kids played the game "What Comes Here?" with Unifix cube trains and began to determine and use the repeating unit of a pattern to predict the color of the cube in the 8th, 10th, 12th, and 20th spots of the train. Some children began to notice matching number patterns that helped them make generalizations and rules about how to determine the color of any cube in the sequence. For example, one child saw that for an AB pattern using orange and black, all of the odd numbers would always be black cubes and all of the orange cubes would always be even numbers.

Work You Can Do at Home to Support Pattern Work:

  • Go on a pattern hunt around your house or while walking around in the world. There are many kinds of patterns to notice!
  • Make and Exchange Patterns: If you have some materials at home to make patterns (beads, buttons, crayons, blocks, shapes, different color dots or shapes drawn on paper, etc.) you and your child can construct repeating patterns, then trade them to figure out the unit of the pattern. If you need some cut-out paper shapes from school, let us know!

Making Patterns with...

Reading Workshop

This week, we talked about what happens when you feel like something's not quite right when reading a book. The Maple class talked about the feeling they get when they're not sure what's happening in a story or a word is particularly tricky. Then, we discussed what you should do if you have that feeling when you read: Stop and use a strategy to figure out what's going on or to read an unfamiliar word. We sang a song to remind ourselves what to do:

(to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know it")

If you think that something's wrong you've got to STOP

(clap, clap)

If you think that something's wrong you've got to STOP

(clap, clap)

If you think that somethings wrong and you say what’s going on?

If you think that something's wrong you've got to STOP

(clap, clap)

In partner reading, the kids practiced how to help a friend who had come across an unfamiliar word. Instead of telling the reader the word, partners practiced suggesting strategies to use to figure out the tricky word.

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Project Time

This week, the kids observed a large collection of plants from around the school. They used their observations to discuss the parts of the plant and what a plant needs outside of itself to meet its needs. Children noticed that all of the plants needed light and different ranges of water. They also saw that some plants needed soil, while others could grow in water, sand, or rocks.

On Friday, members of the Pine class came and shared a "How to Make a Terrarium" book that one of the students wrote last year. The Pine class students gave us advice about building and caring for terrariums. Then the Maple students built their own terrariums using sand, rocks, compost-enriched soil, moss, and plants.

As the living systems unit progresses, the children will observe their terrariums in partnerships, collect and record information into an observation log, and make adjustments to their terrarium in order to best care for the plants inside. Through this activity, children will practice important research skills and see how their actions and choices can affect the health of another system.

Pine class terrarium experts share their experiences building and caring for terrariums...

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Terrarium Fun

Worm Bin Care

The Pine class lent us their compost bin to observe recently. We've been learning how to take care of the worms and see how the parts of this living system work together. This week, we learned to feed the worms.

First, we shredded newspaper...

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Then we placed the frozen food scraps in and covered them with the newspaper

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The children continued to work on creating a circus in our classroom this week. The class looked at photographs, art, and old circus posters to think about what they would need to do to create a circus in our classroom. Then, they brainstormed a number of different centers that they could create to make the circus happen, including a performance planning center, a tent or "big top" making center, a costume center, and and animal center, in which they have been creating clay and wire animals for an animal show.

Making Origami decorations to hang at the circus

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Next Week's Events

Mark Morris Dance Group Classes on Mondays

Our teacher for Mark Morris was unfortunately sick for our first class last week! We will begin our classes tomorrow, February 1st. Please make sure that your child is dressed in comfortable clothing that allows for a large range of movement. Thanks!

Family School Collaborative Meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd

Please join us to kick of the new year! We have a new FSC board and need your help to make the Spring activities a success. We will be talking about the Family Dance, Eco Fair, Spring Fling Fundraiser, Book Fair, and more!

We will be providing food for all and childcare.

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 3

Location: Community Room

Food and Mingling: 6-6:30pm

FSC Meeting: 6:30-7:30

Brian Returns on Wednesday, February 3rd

Brian will be rejoining the class on Wednesday morning. We look forward to seeing him then!

Mid-Winter Break Housing for Bill the Hermit Crab

We are looking for housing for a friendly, low-maintenance hermit crab over the mid-winter break. Bill will come with food and a food dish, a water sponge and dish, a small travel tank, and an overhanging tank lamp to keep him warm. All of his supplies can be carried home.

Bill needs his food replenished every few days and needs his water sponge and dish filled each day. He needs his lamp turned on during the daytime and should be kept away from any cold air.

Bill can be left alone overnight for 1-2 days as long as the cage light is left on and his food and water are stocked.

Please let us know if you would be willing to house Bill as soon as possible! First person to volunteer gets him.

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